What will I study at ILR?
The ILR curriculum provides a balance of structure and flexibility. Foundation courses provide a comprehensive view of the historical, legal, management and economic issues that define and influence the workplace. Elective courses allow students to pursue specific interests.
Foundation courses in management, economics, psychology, history, law, government and statistics are taken in ILR. Electives are taken within ILR and from Cornell’s other undergraduate colleges. ILR students pursue interests in business, law, government, economics, international relations, psychology, public policy, social and political history. Learn more about the ILR curriculum.
Do I select a major?
You do not select a major. There is only one major at ILR. All students earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Can I pursue a minor?
While many students simply pursue their specific interests by selecting elective courses from ILR and throughout Cornell, some choose to pursue formal minors.
ILR students may pursue minors in any department, in any college that offers them, subject to limitations placed by the department offering the minor or by the student's major. Completed minors appear on the transcript. Not all departments offer minors. Minors popular among ILR students include Economics, International Relations, Law and Society and Inequality Studies.
Learn more about undergraduate minor fields of study at Cornell.
Will I be able to take classes at the other undergraduate colleges at Cornell?
Yes, ILR students combine ILR required courses with elective courses from the 4,000 offered throughout Cornell.
View a list of Cornell course descriptions.
Does ILR accept AP or IB credit?
A maximum of 12 credits will be accepted from AP, IB or college courses taken as a high school student (a course taught at the college and above high school graduation requirements). Approved credit can be used towards required courses or as general elective credit.
View a copy of ILR's advanced placement credit policy. (pdf)
How long does it take to complete the ILR degree?
All ILR students must complete eight semesters of full-time study, known as residency (12 credits or more completed during one semester is considered full time study), including work done while on an approved credit internship or study abroad program, to meet their degree requirements. Those who enroll as a transfer student will be required to complete four to six semesters of full time study, depending on the number of full-time semesters completed at another college or university prior to transfer.
What student organizations does ILR and Cornell offer?
ILR students participate in ILR School sponsored student organizations and also from among hundreds of Cornell University clubs and organizations.
ILR sponsors eight student organizations that include:
- Cornell Organization for Labor Action (COLA)
- Minority ILR Student Organization (MILRSO)
- The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- ILR Global Affairs Club (IGAC)
- ILR Student Government Association
- ILR Sports Management Club
- Women’s Caucus
- ILR Ambassadors
Will I live with other ILR students?
Residence halls are not assigned by college, so you will have an opportunity to live with students from all the undergraduate colleges at Cornell.
Visit the Cornell Campus Life website.
What do ILR students do after they graduate?
Approximately 2/3 of ILR graduates go into direct employment and 1/3 enter law, professional and graduate school programs upon graduation. ILR graduates are sought by a wide range of employers and industries. The flexible curriculum, internship experiences and academic advising help ILR students prepare for a variety of careers and advanced degree programs.
View statistics for the ILR class of 2011. (pdf)
Do professors teach classes?
Professors teach introductory and upper level courses. Teaching assistants (TAs) work with professors to assist students in small discussion groups. Professors at Cornell divide their time between teaching, research and academic advising.
Where will my classes be held?
The majority of ILR courses are held in Ives Hall, the main ILR School classroom building located on central campus. Courses offered in other colleges will be held in various campus locations in close proximity to Ives Hall.
What is the average class size?
You will experience a range of class sizes as an ILR student. Class sizes at Cornell are based on sound learning principles. Classes that need to be small are small, and large courses often build in weekly discussion sessions that involve a smaller number of students.
The ILR Colloquium taken in the first semester involves 20 ILR students facilitated by a member of the ILR faculty. The two freshman writing seminars you complete in year one will have no more than 17 students. Your ILR required courses in years one and two will be a range of 50-400 students. Upper division courses are typically 15-50 students.
What type of student does ILR look for?
ILR looks for students with organizational and leadership skills, solid high school academic performance in the social sciences, math and writing, and who have a strong interest in the fields associated with Industrial and Labor Relations, such as history, economics, government, sociology, psychology, statistics, international relations, law and business.
The Admissions Committee takes into consideration the following information when reviewing applications.
- Applicants fit or match and understanding of the ILR program as stated in the essay
- High school academic performance – emphasis on writing, math and the social sciences
- Extracurricular experiences
- Standardized tests
If ILR is my first choice, is it recommended I apply Early Decision?
It is highly recommended to apply early decision if ILR is your first choice. Early decision is a binding commitment and requires you to withdraw your applications to other institutions if you are admitted.
Read more about early decision at Cornell.
Can I apply to more than one college at Cornell?
Early Decision and Regular Decision applicants have the option of designating a primary and alternate choice college.
Learn more at Cornell's admissions website.